At Vance - Only Human
AFM Records
Heavy Metal
13 songs (64:04)
Release year: 2002
At Vance, AFM Records
Reviewed by Mike
Untitled Document

This is the fouth album of At Vance, and a good one it is. The band play songs ranging from power metal to hard rock with neoclassical overtones and a strong melodic quality.

The neoclassical influences sound similar to that of Stratovarius and Yngwie Malmsteen. In fact, the title track is almost a carbon copy of the Stratovarius cut, Playing With Fire. At Vance do not have quite as much of a neoclassical influence as does Stratovarius. But, the keyboard use and neoclassical guitar is used just enough to give the music its own character and keeps this from being a repetitive, cookie cutter heavy metal release.

As some of you may have noticed from my previous reviews, I am a big fan of superb guitar work. This album will get regular play in my CD player as crunchy hard rock riffs, driving power metal riffs, technical solos, and plenty of guitar shreds are to be found on this album. Even the ballad Time has a nice riff and some dual guitar soloing. For those of you who enjoy riff driven songs (powerful, mid-tempo, or even slow), this album is sure to please. Vocally speaking, imagine a more restrained Jeff Scott Soto, and you have a good idea of what to expect.

To give you a breakdown of the songs you will find on this album: there are four power metal songs, five mid-tempo hard rock songs, two ballads, and two instrumentals. So, you can see that Only Human is an album that offers quite a bit of variety. However, the common thread from beginning to end is the strong melodic quality of each song, fabulous guitar work, and very professional sounding production. The neoclassical touch works very well for the band as they are able to give the songs a nice atmosphere, but allow the excellent guitar sound remain in the forefront where it belongs. When you hear the keys and the harmony vocals on the final track, I Surrender, fans of the debut Bon Jovi album will surely have a smile on their face! Of course, this is not exactly neoclassical keyboard use, but the band pull it off quite well. I find it very strategic to place this track at the end of the disc such that it does not conflict with the neoclassical feel of the rest of the album.

If you like a good mix of powerful cuts and midtempo rockers with strong melodies and a neoclassical feel, I would recommend adding this CD to your collection. Those of you who are like me and enjoy outstanding guitar work will not be disappointed either.

Killing Songs :
Witches Dance, Sing This Song, I Surrender, Fly to the Rainbow
Mike quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by At Vance that we have reviewed:
At Vance - Chained reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
At Vance - The Evil In You reviewed by Danny and quoted 90 / 100
At Vance - Dragonchaser reviewed by Chris and quoted 75 / 100
At Vance - Heart Of Steel reviewed by Chris and quoted 85 / 100
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